6 Simple Tips for Effective Event Budgeting
Event budgeting is one of the most important and difficult parts of event planning. It is very rare to find an event planner who loves this aspect of planning. This is particularly true for large and complex events. Event budgeting feels like a necessary evil. However, there are strategies that you can use to keep everything in order and maximize the return from your budget.
Start budgeting as soon as possible
Budgeting process should begin the moment you get to know about the event. But that may not always be doable. However, you should put together a rough budget if you wish to know whether your event will be feasible or not. For this, you can refer to the previous figures from similar events. Make educated guesses and do thorough research. A word of caution: don’t spend a lot of time on it since it is just a rough first draft.
Once you improvise on your first draft, run it past your clients and stakeholders. That way, if the event proceeds, you already have a rough idea of where to spend and how to spend it.
Update event budget frequently
Losing or misplacing receipts and quotes is a possibility you must avoid. However, sometimes you cannot do much about it…or can you? To avoid such situations, it is important to regularly update your event budget. You should at least spend 10 minutes daily on your event budget to update it. This way you will always be informed of developments in real-time. If you are tech-savvy, then you can use and your team can use an app to put everything in one place and update the budget regularly.
Get several quotes from vendors
Do thorough research to get competitive rates from event management software vendors. You should get at least three quotes for anything. Even if you have a favorite vendor, If you find someone who offers lower prices, then chances are your vendor might just match the price. Always add quotes to your budget as soon as you get them so that you can have a reference and an accurate record. Never accept the first price. If the venue cannot go down on price, negotiate for something extra like an additional entree option or free parking.
Remember the Murphy’s Law
As an event planner, you are used to dealing with a last-minute crisis. And we all know that to overcome these challenges, we need to have a contingency plan. Apply the same rule while planning your budget. You need a contingency plan in your budget to use in case you need to buy an A/V at the very last minute or if your speaker fees are higher than expected. With a buffer in your budget, you get a breathing space to bear the unexpected costs. You should always try to save between 5% and 25% depending on the type of event you are hosting.
Look for an additional income source
Look for sponsorship revenue and another source of additional income. Just don’t offer the generic packages to your sponsors. Work with them for greater collaboration and ask what they want to achieve and provide a valuable partnership. Piggybacking on other events is also another great way to save money. Talk to your venue and find out if there are other events happening. Reach out to the organizer of that event so you can share the cost of things like AV by hosting your event the day before or after his/her event.
You should aim to be spreadsheet ninja
When creating your budget document, ensure you include all income and expenditure. Don’t forget any item of expense no matter how small or big it may be. Set targets early, including how many tickets you plan to see, how much sponsorship revenue generated, and how much percentage of the budget saved year on year. Use spreadsheet formulas to save time and make your estimation error-free.